What Works for Health is a database of policies and programs that can improve health. These policies and programs address key health factors that, in turn, improve health outcomes. This database is based on a wide scan of analyses assessing evidence of effectiveness. We summarize research about what does and does not work to help different stakeholders (such as public health practitioners, community organizations, businesses, schools, and others) identify policies and programs that could improve health.
The research underlying this site is based on a model of population health that emphasizes the many factors that can make communities healthier places to live, learn, work, and play. For each health factor, this database reviews policies and programs, describing expected outcomes, implementation in Wisconsin and elsewhere, resources related to effectiveness and implementation, potential reach and impact on disparities, and other key information. It also provides opportunities to learn from communities that use these policies and programs.
To find a policy or program click on a health factor (in the blue boxes below), search by keyword (see top of left column), or search by one or more of the following: decision maker; evidence rating; potential population reach; or impact on disparities.
Mortality (length of life)
Morbidity (quality of life)
|Health Behaviors||Tobacco Use|
|Diet & Exercise|
|Alcohol & Drug Use|
|Clinical Care||Access to Care|
|Quality of Care|
|Social & Economic Factors||Education|
|Family & Social Support|
Policies and Programs
|Physical Environment||Air & Water Quality|
|Housing & Transit|
|County Health Rankings model © 2014 UWPHI|
The factors that impact health are all inter-related. Investments in all categories are needed for Wisconsin to make maximum and efficient improvement in the health of its residents. Many decision makers can take actions to help improve Wisconsin’s health. Search to identify policies and programs that can be implemented by: